Kuwait increases minimum wage for family visa to KD 450
Kuwait: The Kuwait Ministry of Interior yesterday raised the minimum salary required for expatriates to be able to sponsor their wives and children from KD 250 to KD 450 in a move expected to cut the number of foreign families in the country. Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah issued a decision amending the foreign residency law to raise the salary requirement for dependent visas, a step that will prevent thousands of low-paid expatriates from bringing their families to live with them on a permanent basis.
The decision said that the cases of expatriates already living in the country or those who were born here and draw salaries below KD 450 will be studied by the director general of the residence affairs department to decide whether they can be exempted from the salary condition.
Only a small percentage of the three million expatriates living in the country draw wages above the KD 450 level. According to the latest statistics, the average salary of a male expat in the private sector is only KD 247. The existing minimum family visa wage of KD 250 has been in effect since Dec 2004, when it was reduced from KD 400 in a bid to make it easier for expatriates to sponsor their wives and children in order to make Kuwait a family society, after complaints that Kuwait was predominantly a society consisting of single males.
During the past 12-year period, the number of expatriates increased to record levels of three million, constituting almost 70 percent of the total population of Kuwait. The new decision however exempts 14 groups of expatriates from the salary requirement to sponsor their families.
Chancellors, judges, prosecution staff and legal experts working in the public sector; doctors and pharmacists; university and professors at higher institutes; public school directors and deputies, educational supervisors, teachers, social workers and lab assistants; academic, financial and economic consultants; engineers; imams, preachers, muezzins and Quran teachers; librarians at government bodies and private universities; health ministry staff including nursing staff, paramedics, technicians and social workers; social workers and psychologists in the public sector; journalists, media staff and reporters; coaches and players at sports unions and clubs; pilots and flight attendants; and washers and buriers of dead bodies.
By B Izzak
Source: Kuwait Times [Link]